Seven deadly sins
The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a grouping and classification of vices within Christian teachings, although they are not mentioned in the Bible. Behaviours or habits are classified under this category if they directly give rise to other immoralities. According to the standard list, they are pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth, which are contrary to the seven heavenly virtues.
|Part of a series on|
This classification originated with the Desert Fathers, especially Evagrius Ponticus, who identified seven or eight evil thoughts or spirits to be overcome. Evagrius' pupil John Cassian, with his book The Institutes, brought the classification to Europe, where it became fundamental to Catholic confessional practices as documented in penitential manuals, sermons like Chaucer's "Parson's Tale", and artistic works like Dante's Purgatory (where the penitents of Mount Purgatory are grouped and penanced according to their worst sin). The Catholic Church used the framework of the deadly sins to help people curb their evil inclinations before they could fester. Teachers especially focused on pride, thought to be the sin that severs the soul from grace and which is the very essence of evil, as well as greed, with these two underlying all other sins. The seven deadly sins were discussed in treatises and depicted in paintings and sculpture decorations on Catholic churches, as well as in older textbooks.